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Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women's Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India

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  • Robert Jensen
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    Abstract

    Do labor market opportunities for women affect marriage and fertility decisions? We provided three years of recruiting services to help young women in randomly selected rural Indian villages get jobs in the business process outsourcing industry. Because the industry was so new at the time of the study, there was almost no awareness of these jobs, allowing us in effect to exogenously increase women's labor force opportunities from the perspective of rural households. We find that young women in treatment villages were significantly less likely to get married or have children during this period, choosing instead to enter the labor market or obtain more schooling or postschool training. Women also report wanting to have fewer children and to work more steadily throughout their lifetime, consistent with increased aspirations for a career. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 127 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 753-792

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:753-792

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    1. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:
    1. Stephan Klasen & Janneke Pieters, 2013. "What explains the stagnation of female labor force participation in urban India?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers, Courant Research Centre PEG 146, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. Isis Gaddis & Stephan Klasen, 2014. "Economic development, structural change, and women’s labor force participation:," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 639-681, July.
    3. Heath, Rachel, 2014. "Women’s Access to Labor Market Opportunities, Control of Household Resources, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-46.
    4. Stephan E. Maurer & Andrei V. Potlogea, 2014. "Fueling the Gender Gap? Oil and Women's Labor and Marriage Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp1280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2013. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," NBER Working Papers 19305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ayako Wakano & Hiroyuki Yamada & Daichi Shimamoto, 2014. "Does the heterogeneity of project implementers affect the program participation of beneficiaries? : Evidence from rural Cambodia," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) 14-21, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    7. Majlesi, Kaveh, 2014. "Labor Market Opportunities and Women's Decision Making Power within Households," Working Papers, Lund University, Department of Economics 2014:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Marcus Böhme, 2012. "Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain?," Kiel Working Papers, Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1811, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    9. Chiapa, Carlos & Garrido, José Luis & Prina, Silvia, 2012. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 778-798.
    10. Oster, Emily & Steinberg, Bryce Millett, 2013. "Do IT service centers promote school enrollment? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 123-135.
    11. Francine D. Blau, 2013. "Comment on "The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective"," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chari, A.V. & Maertens, Annemie, 2014. "Gender, productive ability and the perceived returns to education: Evidence from rural India," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 253-257.
    13. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Najy Benhassine & Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Victor Pouliquen, 2013. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A “Labeled Cash Transfer” for Education," NBER Working Papers 19227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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